Events in Tuscany

January ÷ March

February – Saturday e Sunday – Carnival of Viareggio

The most famous Carnival of Italy with papier-mâché floats.


April ÷ June

Easter – Florence – Explosion of the Cart

The ceremony takes place in Piazza del Duomo, followed by a procession with flag throwers from 10 am until about 12 am . The fireworks are ignited by a rocket in the likeness of a dove, which tied to a rope, flies from the high altar until it reaches the “brindellone” (the wagon). A successful display , is supposed to guarantee a good harvest.


First Sunday of May – Crossbow Tournament – Sansepolcro

On the first Sunday of May, the crossbowmen of Sansepolcro travel to Gubbio, in Umbria, to compete in the Palio della Balestra, a crossbow tournament between the two cities, representatives dress in medieval costumes and have ancient weapons. On the second Sunday of September the crossbowmen of Gubbio travel to Sansepolcro to compete with the “rivals”.


April/May/June – Florence Annual musical Festival – Florence

From late April to June, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino includes a series of classical music concerts, events, and internationally acclaimed operas and ballets , organized in various theaters and locations of the city. Tickets are not always readily available, it is preferable to buy them in advance by checking the online program.


16 June – San Ranieri Lights – Pisa

To celebrate the the patron saint, Pisa is lit with lights that adorn buildings, churches and towers. The striking visual effect is achieved by the reflection that the candles create on the Arno River, on which other floating candles are carried by the river currants that runs through the Tuscan city.


June – Historic Florentine Football – Florence

A challenge in Piazza Santa Croce between the four historic districts of Florence. The teams play off in a game that lasts fifty minutes with the ball continuously on the move which can be hit with both hands and feet.


June – Historical Regatta – Pisa

On the occasion of the patron Saint Ranieri, four boats representing the city neighborhoods dispute a race on the waters of the river Arno , a legacy of the prestigious maritime tradition of the history of Pisa. The final victory is not assigned in the order of arrival but it depends on the skill of the “montatore” that must climb up one of the four ropes that reach the top of a flagpole ten meters high, to grab the “banner”, which is the symbol of victory.


July ÷ August

4/5/6 July – Pistoia Blues Festival, Bear Joust – Pistoia

Two major events are held in July in the city of Pistoia: the Pistoia Blues Festival and the Bear Joust. The Pistoia Blues festival is generally held in the first half of July and hosts international blues artists who perform in the main squares of the city.
 On July 25th, after a majestic procession in honor of St. James, the patron saint of the city, twelve knights take part in the Bear Joust. In this curious medieval joust, knights with lances have to hit two targets in the shape of a bear to the sound of drums and fanfare. The bear is the heraldic animal of Pistoia and the Joust is one of the flagship events of “July in Pistoia.”


2nd July and 16th August – Siena The Palio – Siena

This is the most famous horse race in Italy, which is run bareback in the unique setting of the beautiful Piazza del Campo. The winning Contrada is presented with a large colored drape. Spectacular trials and related events take place in the days immediately preceding and following the race.


27 July/24 August – Bolgheri Melody – Bolgheri


August – Bravio delle Botti – Montepulciano

The Bravio delle botti, takes place on the last Sunday of August in Montepulciano it is an annual fun race with barrels through the streets of the small town. The eight districts of Montepulciano, compete in this competition and battle for the prize at stake. The wooden barrels, weigh about 80 kg, and are rolled uphill for about 1800 meters along the main street to Piazza Grande, in front of the Duomo. The race is preceded by a costume parade and followed by celebrations in the streets.


End of July/August – Leghorn shines in the lights of the Venice Effect

It is named the Venice Effect and it is the biggest event of the summer in Leghorn, it is held in one of the most characteristic neighborhoods of the city: the District of Venice.
Generally held between the end of July and the first days of August, the Venice Effect is basically a great party for all ages. The event lasts for several days, during which performances of various kinds take place: theatrical and musical events, exhibitions and cultural initiatives. For the occasion the District of Venice, is filled with stalls , crafts, antiques and various knick knacks, food stands and eateries. Even the locals of the area set outdoor tables and eat outdoors enjoying the beautiful scenery of the district of Venice festively illuminated.


15 and 22 August – Volterra-Year 1398 – Volterra

Nel centro storico viene ricostruita una città medievale con artigiani, musici, Giocolieri, notabili, dame e cavalieri, sbandieratori e popolani.


September ÷ December

Penultimate Saturday in June and first Sunday in September – The Saracen Joust – Arezzo

The Saracen Joust in Arezzo takes place in the Piazza Grande. The 4 districts of the city: Porta del Foro, Crucifera Porta, Porta Sant’Andrea and Porta S. Spirito challenge each other in the joust . The sequence of each rider is in the order determined in accordance with the dress rehearsal on the previous day and commonly called “the Provaccia.” The jockey holds a spear with which he must hit the board , a wooden statue which represents the Saracen (hence the name).


8 September / 25 e 26 December – Exposure of the Sacred Girdle of the Virgin – Prato

The Girdle of the Virgin Mary is kept under lock and key, in the Cathedral of Prato, (also known as Sacred Girdle). Five times a year a ceremony is organized in which the relic is carried in procession and shown to the crowd gathered in the square. Two of these occasions include September 8th (day of celebration of the birth of the Virgin Mary) and the 25th and 26th December. In the chapel dedicated to the relic on the left side of the Cathedral, there are mural paintings by Agnolo Gaddi (The Legend of the Sacred Girdle 1392-95) tells the story of the arrival in Prato of the Girdle.


End of October early November – National Exhibition of white truffles – Volterra

The Pico Tuber Magnum is the most prized white truffle. The exhibition is presented not only as a local cultural spot but also as an open market , and attracts both experienced and simple lovers of the tasty truffle based specialties.


Second half of November – National Exhibition of white truffle – San Miniato

Carnevale di Viareggio

Carnival of Viareggio

Palio della Balestra

Crossbow Tournament

Luminara di Pisa

San Ranieri Lights

Calcio Storico Fiorentino

Historic Florentine Football

Pistoia Blues

Pistoia Blues

Palio di Siena

Siena The Palio

Bolgheri Melody

Bolgheri Melody

Livorno Effetto Venezia

Venice Effect

Giostra del Saracino

The Saracen Joust

Fiera del tartufo bianco

National Exhibition of white truffle